I’ve been contemplating that question for a while now. Prosperity has rather mixed reviews in Christian circles. I just read a headline accusing someone of being a “prosperity gospel” preacher. I’m not overly familiar with that preacher and the who doesn’t matter as much as the interesting dichotomy that we have on the topic of money – which is what most people jump to when they hear the word prosper.
On the one hand, there are those who give up all their earthly possessions and often live in poverty level conditions to follow God. Their poverty has become a badge of honor and a sign of their holiness. And then there are the prosperity gospel people who declare that God is the giver of wealth, and having lots of money is a sign of God’s pleasure and favor with you. It’s no wonder that each extreme considers the other heretical.
Here’s the thing – and is where both camps may unite and call me the heretic – you can find Biblical support for both positions. God often demonstrated his favor on others by giving them wealth as well as giving them the skills and abilities to create and acquire wealth, and He has also called various people to give up everything and follow him without a visible means of support. I don’t want to get into all of that here – suffice it to say it’s enough to make me question either extreme.
But if your soul is prospering does that mean money? I don’t think it does. And in this case, we have simplified a word and stripped it of a greater meaning that we would do well to regain. Kind of like the word shalom, which we have nearly neutered to peace – but that’s a topic for another day.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2 NASB
This is the verse that keeps weaving through my thoughts. John is writing his friend Gaius, and this is how he begins his letter to him. It had been a while since I read this little book, and I think I may hang out here for a while – but for now let’s focus on this prayer that Gaius would prosper even as his soul prospers… The word that he uses here, transliterated euodoo means the following:
to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey, to lead by a direct and easy way
to grant a successful issue, to cause to prosper
to prosper, be successful
In ALL respects, he says. I like to keep things simple – I think all means all. So what would this “all” encompass? It would at least include body, mind, and spirit. It would include those internal things, but also the external. And, yes, I think it includes money. But notice the last, intriguing part of the verse: even as your soul prospers. The word used for soul can also be translated as breath or life force.
I propose, that this is a pretty significant key – that the root of our success and prospering in anything is that our soul prospers first. Another verse, the latter part of Matthew 12:34 says that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks. Again, the more outward expression is dependent on the inward reality.
And this is where the core questions have to be asked, answered, and settled. Is God who he says he is? Who does he say that he is? Who does he say that I am?
Is God a God of abundance and enough?
Is God for me or against me?
Is God helping or hurting me?
Dos God want me to prosper even as my soul prospers?
As a side note – herein lies the difficulty that many find with the law of attraction, it isn’t that our words don’t have power because they do. It’s that there is too much difference between what you are saying and what your soul believes. If there is a disconnect here – you might manifest something – but it’s not likely to be what you are hoping for unless and until there is greater coherence in your soul. You are free to prosper in all things – as your soul prospers. Look after your soul – it’s pretty powerful!
You need to heal those inner wounds and believe the truth. And, I’ve got some things that may help:
Grab the tool that you need to help set yourself free from lack and limitations – and access prosperity in all areas as your soul prospers.